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Russia’s Rosoboronexport offers technology for India’s domestic production

A Russian S-400 SAM during the Victory parade 2010. (Aleksey Toritsyn/Wikimedia Commons)
November 13, 2020

The top Russian defense exporting arm Rosoboronexport has shown interest in providing essential technology to India, including their state of the art defense equipment for the domestic production line.

Earlier this month, while celebrating the 20th anniversary of Rosoboronexport, officials in the organization said “historically, from the very beginning, not only supplied military equipment but also provided assistance in organizing its production, creating repair and maintenance facilities” as a response to the news outlet WION’s question in an interview.

Russia has been a very credible defense supplier to India since the day of its creation. The defense ties in both countries date back to Soviet-era and India was the largest defense purchaser of Russian industries for decades. Even today, India’s top of line weapons are hailed from Russia, from IAF’s Frontline aircraft fighter Su-30Mki, MiG29 to Indian navy’s flagship carrier INS Vikramaditya, kilo class submarine and Talwar class frigates, as well as various other platforms ranging from missiles, helicopters, radars, tanks, and rifles. India and Russia share a historic partnership in the military sector and is one of the strongest pillars celebrated in the Indo-Russian strategic partnership.

Stating the bilateral projects between both nations as “fully consistent,” and India’s “Make in India” program as a vital part of the Defense sector, Rosoboronexport said that it has been actively participating with key Indian military-industrial complexes like HAL, OFB, Bharat Forge and Bharat Dynamics and has “always appreciated the highest level of their expertise,” according to a Rosoboronexport official.

Su-30Mki was a prime example of peak Indo-Russian cooperation in technology sharing. With superior customization and an open architecture format, Russia gave India a great share of technology with a license production facility in regards to creating an Indian-specific air superiority multirole combat jet with phased array radar.

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Currently, India is close to starting a production line of AK-203 assault rifles with Kalashnikov in joint partnership through the established Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL) rifle manufacturing facility in Korwa, Amethi. The target of nearly 700,000 rifles meant to be produced at this facility for the Indian army will produce great profit for both countries in a 100% localization program.

The project is pending due to the unavailability of a production contract which has not been signed yet but both sides have formally accepted the technical configuration of the rifle. The AK203 facility could become a major asset for India’s domestic rifle needs, as well as potentially for India’s ambitious exportation plans. The project could be a vital option for the potential exportation of rifles to other countries, as well.

With various technology sharing, Russia wants to keep India high on a list of partners for its weapons market with Rosoboronexport’s future offerings, including various fields of defense needs in India.